Final Year Results of the 1992 to 1997 Alfalfa Variety Trial

Eric P. Eldredge, Monty Saunders, and Clinton C. Shock
Malheur Experiment Station
Oregon State University
Ontario, Oregon, 1997

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Introduction

The purpose of this furrow irrigated trial was to compare the forage productivity of 35 alfalfa varieties through five years based on four harvests per year. The alfalfa varieties plots were planted September 16, 1992, and were sprinkler irrigated for seed germination and stand establishment.

Methods

Yield samples were taken by harvesting a 3 foot by 22 foot swath from the center of each plot with a flail forage harvester. At each cutting date, moisture content was determined by drying samples from eight randomly selected plots. Fresh weight of forage was converted to 88 percent dry matter (DM) for all varieties. Hay cutting dates were May 15, July 3, August 7, and September 22, 1997. Forage quality of each variety was analyzed by near-infrared reflectance spectrophotometry (NIRS) to estimate percentage crude protein (CP) and percentage acid detergent fiber (ADF). Samples of 20 stems were taken from each plot at the third cutting, dried, ground to powder, and submitted for NIRS analysis. Variety performance was compared using ANOVA and least significant differences (LSD).

Results

The average hay production at 88 percent dry matter in the trial was 9.2 ton/acre (Table 1). Averages for the first through fourth cuttings were 2.2, 2.1, 3.2, and 1.7 ton/acre, respectively. The varieties are ranked by total production in 1997, from highest to lowest, with the 24 top-yielding varieties producing 9 ton/acre or more. The average hay production at 88 percent DM of all varieties in the trial over five years was 49.5 ton/acre (Table 2).The information on variety resistance to diseases and pests (Table 3) was provided by participating seed companies and the Certified Alfalfa Seed Council. Most of the varieties have some degree of susceptability to diseases and pests that could limit hay production in our area. Growers should choose varieties that have higher resistance ratings to known disease or pest problems as well as demonstrated yield potential.

Table 1. Yield by cuttings and total yield at 88 percent dry matter, 35 alfalfa varieties, Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, Ontario, OR, 1997.

1st

5/15

2nd

7/3

3rd

8/7

4th

9/22

Total 

1997

Crude protein ADF1
Variety  Source ---------------- ton/acre ----------------- ------- % ------
Garst 630 ICI Americas 2.4 2.4 3.6 1.8 10.2 18.16 38.35
Archer America's Alfalfa 2 2.5 3.6 2 10.1 22.65 31.79
WL 317 W-L Research 2.3 2.2 3.4 1.9 9.8 20.89 33.89
PSS 393 Price & Sons 2.2 2.2 3.7 1.7 9.8 19.96 35.77
Nemagone ABI 2.1 2.4 3.9 1.9 9.8 22.64 31.21
DK133 DeKalb 2.2 2.3 3.3 1.9 9.7 22.35 31.73
3 J 15 Union Seed 2.2 2.3 3.4 1.8 9.7 23.01 31.01
1-A Candy Co. 2.3 2.3 3.2 1.9 9.7 18.97 36.98
Ovation W-L Research 2.2 2.2 3.3 1.9 9.6 20.35 34.79
Achieva Allied Seed 2.1 2.1 3.4 1.9 9.6 19.69 35.89
ABI 9151 ABI 2 2.2 3.6 1.8 9.6 22.21 32.99
Hyland Oasis Seed 2 2.2 3.5 1.8 9.5 20.33 35.53
Sutter PGI / MBS 2 2.1 3.7 1.7 9.4 18.96 36.06
Asset Allied Seed 2.2 2.3 3.1 1.8 9.4 20.89 33.98
WL 323 W-L Research 2.2 2.2 3.1 1.8 9.3 20.57 35.61
Excalibur II Allied Seed 2 2.3 3.1 1.8 9.3 20.45 35.17
ABI 9160 ABI 1.9 2 3.6 1.8 9.3 20.65 34.33
WL 320 W-L Research 2 2.3 3 1.8 9.2 22.25 32.62
Vernema USDA / WSU 2.3 2.3 3 1.6 9.2 20.4 35.23
Lobo Seed Tec 2.1 2.2 2.9 1.9 9.2 22.21 32.67
Blazer-XL Union Seed 2.2 2.1 2.9 1.9 9.2 20.44 36.04
cv5472 Pioneer Hi-Bred 2.3 2.2 3.2 1.5 9.2 19.52 35.11
Lahontan USDA / U NV 2.4 2.2 2.9 1.6 9.1 20.32 34.77
WL 322 HQ W-L Research 2.2 2.1 2.9 1.8 9 19.46 35.33
Crystal PGI / MBS 1.9 2.2 3.1 1.7 8.9 20.98 33.46
Perry USDA / U NB 2.3 2 2.8 1.7 8.8 20.12 36.21
Washoe USDA / U NV 2.2 1.9 3 1.6 8.7 20.94 33.79
Maxi-Leaf Ray Brothers 2.2 1.9 3 1.6 8.7 21.59 33.56
Future Ray Brothers 2 2 3 1.7 8.7 20.26 34.72
cv5683 Pioneer Hi-Bred 2.1 1.8 3.1 1.6 8.6 20.14 34.55
1-T-11 Candy Co. 2.1 2 2.8 1.6 8.5 22.28 31.53
Wrangler USDA \ U NB 2 1.9 2.7 1.6 8.2 21.82 33.23
PGI 2152 PGI / MBS 2.2 2 3 1.7 8.1 21.35 33.83
cv5364 Pioneer Hi-Bred 2.3 1.9 2.5 1.5 8.1 18.79 37.12
CUF-101 USDA / UC 2.7 1.5 2.5 1.3 8 20.06 33.36
Mean 2.2 2.1 3.2 1.7 9.2 20.73 34.35
LSD (0.05)  NS 0.3 0.5 2.6 1.2 NS NS
CV (%) 15.3 10.0 15.4 10.6 9.4
1ADF: acid detergent fiber

2NS: not significant

Table 2. Five-year forage yields, 35 alfalfa varieties, Oregon State University Malheur Experiment Station, Ontario, OR, 1997. 
Variety 1993 1994 1995 1996
1997
5-year

average

5-year total
-------------------------------- ton/acre -----------------------------
Archer 12.9 10.9 8.9 9.6 10.1 10.5 52.4
Achieva 12.7 11.1 8.9 9.9 9.6 10.4 52.2
Lobo 13.5 10.9 9.0 9.5 9.2 10.4 52.1
Nemagone 12.7 10.8 9.0 9.7 9.8 10.4 52.0
Garst 630 12.7 10.5 8.7 9.5 10.2 10.3 52.6
DK133 13.2 10.8 8.4 9.4 9.7 10.3 51.5
ABI 9151 12.4 10.4 9.0 9.4 9.6 10.2 50.8
Excalibur II 12.6 10.6 8.7 9.6 9.3 10.2 50.8
1-A 12.7 10.6 8.5 9.0 9.7 10.1 50.7
Sutter 12.4 10.6 8.6 9.3 9.4 10.1 50.3
WL 323 12.2 10.7 8.7 9.3 9.4 10.1 50.3
Blazer-XL 12.9 10.6 8.3 9.1 9.2 10.0 50.1
Asset 12.5 10.2 8.8 9.1 9.4 10.0 50.0
Hyland 12.3 10.5 8.6 9.0 9.6 10.0 50.0
3 J 15 12.1 10.3 8.7 9.0 9.7 10.0 49.8
PGI 2152 13.1 10.6 8.8 9.2 8.1 10.0 49.8
cv5683 12.7 10.8 8.6 9.1 8.6 10.0 49.8
ABI 9160 12.3 10.7 8.4 9.0 9.3 10.0 49.7
cv5472 12.2 10.7 8.5 9.1 9.2 9.9 49.7
WL 317 12.3 10.3 8.1 9.1 9.8 9.9 49.6
WL 320 12.2 10.4 8.9 8.9 9.2 9.9 49.6
Crystal 12.5 10.3 8.3 9.2 9.0 9.9 49.3
Ovation 11.9 10.4 8.5 8.8 9.6 9.9 49.2
Lahontan 12.5 10.1 8.4 8.8 9.1 9.8 48.9
Vernema 11.7 9.9 8.6 9.2 9.2 9.7 48.6
WL 322 HQ 11.9 10.4 8.3 8.8 9.0 9.7 48.4
1-T-11 12.2 10.2 8.2 9.0 8.5 9.6 48.1
Washoe 11.8 10.0 8.4 9.1 8.7 9.6 48.0
Wrangler 12.4 10.1 8.5 8.8 8.2 9.6 48.0
Future 11.8 10.3 8.2 8.7 8.7 9.5 47.7
Perry 11.7 9.6 8.5 8.8 8.8 9.5 47.4
PSS 393 11.6 8.5 8.4 8.8 9.8 9.4 47.1
Maxi-Leaf 12.2 9.8 7.9 8.5 8.7 9.4 47.1
cv5364 11.8 9.8 8.0 8.7 8.1 9.3 46.4
CUF-101 12.0 9.4 8.1 7.0 8.1 8.9 44.5
Mean 12.4 10.3 8.5 9.1 9.2 9.9 49.5
LSD (0.05) 1.2 0.7 0.7 0.8 1.2 0.4
CV (%) 3.5

Table 3. Disease and insect resistance levels of 35 alfalfa varieties included in the 1992-1997 alfalfa forage trial at Malheur Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Ontario, OR, 1997.

Resistance ratings1
Variety or blend Source Release year FD2 BW VW FW AN PRR SAA PA SN AP RKN
1-A Candy Co. 92.0 3.0 - - - - - - - - - -
1-T-11 Candy Co. 92.0 5.0 - - - - - - - - - -
3 J 15 Union Seed NR 3.0 HR3 R HR HR HR HR R R - -
cv5364 Pioneer Hi-Bred 89.0 4.0 R MR R MR MR HR HR R - -
cv5472 Pioneer Hi-Bred 89.0 4.0 HR MR HR MR MR R HR R - -
cv5683 Pioneer Hi-Bred 88.0 7.0 MR S R S R HR R R - -
ABI 9160 ABI NR 5.0 MR MR MR - R R R R - R
ABI 9151 ABI NR 5.0 MR MR HR MR R - - MR - -
Achieva Allied Seed - 3.0 R R HR HR HR R R MR R -
AP 8950 ABI NR 4.0 MR MR HR MR R HR HR R - R
Archer America's Alfalfa 88.0 5.0 MR LR HR MR R - - MR - -
Asset Allied Seed 90.0 4.0 HR R R R HR R R - MR -
Blazer-XL Union Seed 91.0 3.0 R R HR HR HR HR R R R -
Crystal PGI/MBS 90.0 4.0 HR R HR R HR LR R MR MR -
CUF-101 USDA/UC 76.0 9.0 - - HR - MR HR HR LR - MR
DK133 DeKalb 91.0 4.0 HR R HR HR HR R R MR R -
Excalibur II Allied Seed 93.0 4.0 HR R HR HR HR HR R R R -
Future Ray Brothers 87.0 3.0 HR MR MR LR R MR - MR - -
Garst 630 ICI Americas 85.0 4.0 HR MR R MR R MR R R - -
Hyland Oasis Seed 93.0 3.0 HR R HR R HR R HR R MR -
Lahontan USDA/U NV 54.0 6.0 MR S LR - LR MR LR R - S
Lobo SeedTec 91.0 6.0 MR MR HR HR R HR R R - R
Maxi-Leaf Ray Brothers 93.0 4.0 R LR MR R R - - - - -
Ovation W-L Research NR 4.0 HR HR HR HR HR MR R MR R -
Perry USDA/U NB 79.0 3.0 R S R LR MR MR R - - -
PGI 2152 PGI/MBS 92.0 5.0 HR R HR R R HR R MR - -
PSS 393 Price & Sons NR 6.0 - - - - - - - - - -
Sutter PGI/MBS 87.0 7.0 R LR HR LR HR HR R R - -
Vernema USDA/WSU 81.0 4.0 MR MR - LR LR MR - HR - -
Washoe USDA/U NV 65.0 5.0 R - - LR R R R R - -
WL 322 HQ W-L Research 91.0 4.0 HR R HR MR R HR HR LR - LR
WL 320 W-L Research 85.0 4.0 R MR HR MR R R R MR - -
WL 323 W-L Research 93.0 4.0 HR R HR HR HR MR R R R -
WL 317 W-L Research 88.0 3.0 HR R HR R HR HR HR R - MR
Wrangler USDA/U NB 83.0 2.0 R LR R LR HR HR HR - - -
1BW bacterial Wilt, VW:Verticillium wilt, FW:Fusarium wilt, AN:Anthracnose, PRR:Phytophthora Root Rot, SAA:Spotted Alfalfa

Aphid, PA:Pea Aphid, SN:Stem Nematode, AP:Aphanomyces, RKN:Root Knot Nematode (Northern).

2Fall Dormancy (FD): 1:Norseman, 2:Vernal, 3:Ranger, 4:Saranac, 5:DuPuits, 6:Lahontan, 7:Mesilla, 8:Moapa 69, 9:CUF 101.

3Pest Resistance Rating: >50%=HR (high resistance), 31-50%=R (resistant), 15-30%=MR (moderate resistance), 6-14%=LR

(low resistance), 0-6%=S (susceptable).